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New Core Scientific CEO says company will exit bankruptcy by year end

source-logo  blockworks.co 07 August 2023 16:12, UTC

Adam Sullivan, who started as CEO of Core Scientific last Friday, is no stranger to bitcoin mining.

In fact, he’s been intimately involved in the industry since at least 2016. Back then, Sullivan was running a GPU mining business on the side while he worked full time at a hedge fund in New York, he told Blockworks in an interview.

In 2018, Sullivan only fell more in love with bitcoin mining when he went to visit rigs all across the country, most of which were only 5 to 10 megawatts, he said.

“I went on a road trip and probably visited about 60 sites,” he told Blockworks. “It was fantastic. I was like, you know what? This is what I really, really like,” he said.

At that time, Sullivan was working at an investment banking firm called XMS Capital Partners. There, Sullivan led the digital assets team with a specific focus on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and capital raises in the bitcoin mining industry.

One company he worked closely with was Riot Platforms. He advised them on all their capital raises and M&A deals from when they had just three employees, he said.

XMS also worked on Riot’s 2021 acquisition of Whinstone’s 100-acre bitcoin mining site in Rockdale, Texas, an $80 million cash deal.

He even worked with his future employer quite closely while at XMS, as he was part of the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that took Core Scientific public in 2021.

“I’ve been intimately involved with the company for a number of years, and it made a lot of sense for me to make the move over to [Core Scientific],” Sullivan said. “I’ve worked with every company in this industry, worked on probably almost every side of every M&A deal that’s happened in Bitcoin mining.”

Core Scientific co-founder Mike Levitt, who had been serving as chief executive of the company since Kevin Turner stepped down from the role in May 2021, has observed Sullivan in the role of company president for nearly five months.

Read more: Handful of public bitcoin miners log modest hashing power gains for July

Levitt, who will remain as chair of the board, spoke highly of Sullivan’s capabilities and experience, saying he was clearly “the right guy for the job.”

Sullivan had served as Core Scientific’s president since April 2023.

“I knew that long term we needed to bring in somebody that could succeed me,” Levitt told Blockworks.

Regarding Core Scientific’s bankruptcy proceedings, a spokesperson told Blockworks the process “is proceeding well.” Sullivan added that the definitive exit date is unknown, but said that he expects to be out of it “by the end of this year.”

As part of its business plan, Core Scientific will be executing a miner refresh, upgrading its existing machines so they’re more efficient.

Another cornerstone to the plan, according to Sullivan, will be to pay down any debt remaining after emerging from bankruptcy.

“We have a very strong plan coming out of bankruptcy,” Sullivan told Blockworks. “We fully expect that this team will be able to execute on what is a much more tamped down business plan than we had previously.”